Jump to content
Hockey Wilderness
  • Wild fall 2-1 on defensive mistakes to Buffalo Sabres


    The Minnesota Wild fell at home for the first time this season, as goals from Ryan O’Reilly and Johan Larsson in the first and third periods respectively overcame the Wild. 

    The Wild got off to a slow start, a patter that could be cause for some concern if it isn’t remedied. A defensive error from Jonas Brodin just 3:15 into the period gave Ryan O’Reilly the puck at the goalmouth, and the former Avalanche made no mistake as he slotted the puck home past a helpless Devan Dubnyk. 

    The goal came off a long shot from the right point, a save Dubnyk made, but the movement took him out of position. This would have been no problem, but Jonas Brodin collected the rebound and attempted to clear the puck across the center of the goal and sent it right into O’Reilly’s skates. Christian Folin was boxing the Sabre away from the net, but there was nothing he could do as the puck went into the net. 

    Behind virtually from the initial puck drop, the Wild struggled to exit their defensive zone with control, and were almost completely incapable of entering the Sabres’ zone with control. The Sabres continued to pressure, out-shooting the Wild handily in the first half of the period. 

    Finally, the Wild started to find their feet and connect with each other better. The period ended 1-0, with the Wild starting to find the offensive zone. They kept it up in the second period, out-shooting the Sabres and playing pretty effective hockey. They weren’t able to score, but the game had shifted and the visitors were defending more than attacking. 

    The third period saw the games’ only two penalties; a slashing penalty on Josh Gorges that resulted in the Wild leveling the game at 1-1. Jason Pominville took the puck into the offensive zone on a pass. As he was closed down, he sent the puck to Eric Staal, who took a shot from a sharp angle. Robin Lehner made the save, but the rebound bounced to Mikael Granlund, who used a move known in the business as a “hookie-doo” to round Lehner and deposit the puck into the net. 

    With the game tied, the Wild poured on more pressure, continuing to try to solve Lehner. Unfortunately, they were done in by one of their own. Nate Prosser, who had played a decent game thus far, dallied on the puck at center ice and had his pocket picked. Brian Gionta sped into the Wild’s corner, covered by Jared Spurgeon. His pass to an onrushing Johan Larsson was directed over Devan Dubnyk. Mikael Granlund was on the backcheck, but was too far from Larsson to make a play on the puck. Nate Prosser, after giving away the puck at mid-ice, couldn’t get back fast enough to make a defensive play. 

    The Wild pulled Dubnyk with just over a minute left, but the extra attacker didn’t help. The Wild fell 2-1, outshooting the Sabres but falling nonetheless. This was the Wild’s first loss at home of the season. 

    Far from being bad, the Wild played well; it was not a complete game, but for 45 minute the Wild were the better team. They were undone by defensive errors. 

    The Wild may have missed Marco Scandella and Zach Parise, but when two players make two bad decisions, you’re going to get punished in the NHL more often than not. The Wild now have several days off to rest and practice before traveling on Friday to Colorado before a matinee in the Pepsi Center on Saturday against the Colorado Avalanche and their new coach, Jared Bednar.

    Think you could write a story like this? Hockey Wilderness wants you to develop your voice, find an audience, and we'll pay you to do it. Just fill out this form.

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    There are no comments to display.

    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...